Coca-Cola Bottling Company fined $70,000 after worker injured

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Halifax-based Coca-Cola Bottling Company was fined $70,000 after a Brampton plant employee had their arm crushed.

In December 2010 a worker operating a palletizer machine, which loades product onto pallets for shipping, noticed that cases of product were becoming stuck on transfer plates due to spillage from the bottled drinks. Workers commonly spray the plates with an aerosol silicone spray to overcome the sticking. The safety equipment on the palletizer machines includes a gate that is interlocked so the palletizer machine stops if the gate is opened.

However, in this incident the worker reached inside the opening in the gate to spray the plate with silicone without shutting off the production line. As the worker did so, a push bar cycled on and pinched the worker's arm between the push bar and a metal support beam. The worker suffered a fractured arm as a result.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that an in-running nip hazard on the palletizer that endangered the safety of a worker was equipped with and guarded with a device that prevents access to the pinch point as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and was fined $70,000.  

The court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge.

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